A Canadian judge on Friday handed down a sentence for serial killer Bruce McArthur, condemning him to life in prison with no chance for parole for 25 years.
Last week, McArthur pleaded guilty to eight counts of first-degree murder. The 67-year-old former landscaper sexually assaulted, killed and dismembered men that he met in Toronto’s Gay Village district over seven years.
Justice John McMahon called McArthur a sexual predator who killed for his own “warped sick gratification” and said that the victims suffered slow and painful deaths.
He called their dismemberments pure evil, but said the guilty plea spared a jury four months of graphic and gruesome evidence that would have likely required counseling after.
McMahon said that even if McArthur lives to 91, the chances of him getting parole are remote at best.
“All or most of the victims were vulnerable individuals who were lured to their death,” McMahon said. “The accused exploited his victims’ vulnerabilities, whether they involved immigration concerns, mental health challenges or people living a secretive double life.”
The victims fit a pattern: Most were of Middle Eastern or South Asian descent and lived on the margins of Canadian society. Their disappearances attracted little attention.
One victim hid the fact that he was gay from his Muslim family. Another was a recent immigrant with a drug problem. A third was a refugee who was ordered deported. Another victim was homeless, smoked crack cocaine and worked as a prostitute.
However, then Andrew Kinsman vanished. The 49-year-old LGBQT activist and former bartender had many friends. When he suddenly went missing the day after Toronto’s gay pride parade, his friends noticed quickly, and so did the police.
Investigators found Kinsman’s calendar with an entry titled “Bruce” dated June 26, 2017 — the day that he disappeared.
“Mr Kinsman making that notation gave the police the key clue that helped bring the accused to justice,” McMahon said.
Many of Toronto’s LGBQT community said for years, a serial killer was at work, but Toronto Police Chief Marc Saunders in late 2017 said that there was no evidence of that.
Saunders on Friday vowed to rebuild trust with the LGBQT community.
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